Parenting without anger can be hard. From the terrible twos to teenage tantrums, there are countless moments of frustration each day that can easily derail each of us. It’s important to note that when anger takes over, our words can become harsh, and our discipline can become vengeful.
There are some nights that I tuck my kids into bed and simultaneously pat myself on the back because we’ve had such a good day. But if I’m honest, there are many long days that I wish I could do over.
For me, the number one thing that contributes to a disappointing day is when my anger gets the best of me. When I begin fuming I tend to yell. I always regret those angry outbursts because I strive to model the loving behavior I want my kids to display. When I lose my cool it reveals me at my worst.
Anger is a passionate emotion, and when the flames are fanned it can consume us. Anger itself is not wrong. Even God gets angry, but there’s a difference between His righteous anger and mine. God’s anger is focused against sin, not the sinner. His anger burns white hot until it becomes a cleansing fire—consuming evil as it burns. My anger provokes my own sinfulness.
Luckily, the Bible has a lot to say about both anger and parenting.
Here are the top four lessons that have helped me navigate my parental duties in the face of my own ugly temper.
Rid yourself of your anger as soon as you can. Don’t feed it or hold grudges.
And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. Ephesians 4:26 NLT
Don’t discipline in the heat of your anger.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NLT
Love is our best tool against anger.
Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
Apologize when your anger gets the best of you. Repentance and forgiveness can offer a fresh start.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16 NLT
We all know that raising kiddos takes a village, right? So let’s hear any tips and truths from those of you who’ve had success controlling your temper. The Life.Church NextGen Team would love to be able to share your advice with other parents in the trenches alongside us.
Keep calm and carry on, parents.